Frivolous perceptions…

Carrying it further from Dew’s post

(yeah even copying her post title 🙂 )

Dew’s post on how women are perceived at workplace made me write my own post (yeah the long comment on her post wasn’t enough!).

My mother had a 9 to 5 job in the defense sector. Like my father.  We didn’t have any maid at home and yet my parents could handle the situation well in their own graceful manner. My father used to help my mother in washing clothes/utensils, looking after our studies, maintaining our small kitchen garden (which deserves a post to be dedicated after!).  And yet when it came to us falling sick or exam times, it was my mother who took days off from her work. No, we don’t regret that. And neither does she. I guess, there are somethings which a mother can do better – like soothing a sick child. Also, when any guest came calling, it was again my mother who used to take the entire day off just to entertain them. My father could get away with attending to them for a couple of hours in the evening. We wouldn’t have had it otherwise. It worked well for us. All of us.  That didn’t make my mother a less of a professional or my father an inconsiderate husband. They both could maintain the balance between work and life. There would have been voices against such (frequently leave-taking women) employees. But they were not loud enough to bother any of us.

Things are different now.

The stress at work place is more than ever before. We are at work 24 hours a day. The living conditions at home (and around) have changed. While we could roam about the streets in our colony without fear, these days parents can’t imagine leaving kids like that – thanks to the ever increasing crime rate. The expectations are high. Both at work and home. And this applies to both men and women. But the social conditions have remained the same. We still are more attached to our mothers. We seek comfort from them. We want the lady of the house to entertain guests. We want our women to be present for any social/religious gathering. We want the mother to be fully responsible for the child’s upbringing. And yes, we want them to be successful professionals as well. After all, haven’t they studied enough and aren’t they belonging to the ‘new’ era? Similar conditions apply to men as well. But the rules here are more relaxed.  And so, if a man skips a marriage party, he can cite his work responsibilities as the reason. While if a woman does so, she is labeled as unsocial, and irresponsible towards the family.

These conditions would change eventually (hopefully). But till then people at workplace need to be aware and sensitive to these issues. It is easy to smirk and say that women are a burden on the team. But it should also be acknowledged that they are often  more professional and productive than their male counterparts. Just because they run to their home as soon as they are required to doesn’t mean they take their jobs lightly. I am not generalizing and labeling all women employees to be the ‘star-performers’. I am just against labeling them as ‘unprofessional’ just because they don’t have ONLY work on their minds. Their world is much wider than that.

12 thoughts on “Frivolous perceptions…

  1. Puja, I totally agree with hwat you have written and it makes me rant as well!

    Whenever we have missed any sort of family functions due to work related issues, my parents always tell that K has work, even if he doesn’t!!!!
    My work never seems important enough nor is it even taken into consideration by these so-called “relatives” and “family friends”
    This makes me so mad!!

    But, when I quit my previous organisation almost suddenly and took my time to get into another job – I was called irresponsible and frivolous by the same very set of relatives!!!!! 🙄

    sorry about the long comment/rant – but I really hope things change –
    Friends, close family are different.. but these “relatives” and the so-called good natured aunties – gah!

  2. I have been struggling with this very work – life balance for the past few months, and I know how difficult, yet how important it is. Me as an educated women, who was pushed ahead in the world by my parents, can’t sit at home and be happy. I need to feel productive, and there has to be a work component to make me feel independent. After all that, the home is also so important, treating that with equal importance is really a trying task.

    All in all, it totally felt like you were speaking my mind in your post.

    • It’s so true.. Once you are used to working outside home, it becomes a little difficult to be at home and stay confined to household chores, which do get boring after a while.. and add to it the fact that they are not even acknowledged!!
      Both home and work are important. And the fine art of balancing is required… which usually is the woman’s domain!

  3. Muuuuah 🙂 simply brilliant!

    I sometimes sit and wonder…did things really change for women at all? Somehow the struggle seems to be never ending, challenges could be in different forms now but the root cause appears to be the same as before…& I strongly feel unless the perception changes…nothing will change…

    I hope though…some day it does…

    • Thanks dear!!

      You are right.. nothing much changed for women. The concept of equality forced more responsibilities and expectations on us. But it didnt help in making our lives easier.

      And as you said.. perceptions have to change ..

  4. Women are being so burdened right everywhere! expectations remain high because they have an education, a family, but they get no excellence awards for getting to run both these lives so well. Times have changed, but certain attitudes have remained. I mean some people are understanding, But the way these attitudes about certain kinds of courses (professional v/s art streams) and educated women v/s the stay at home mothers or homemakers have come down to people in our society, the way they view it is skewed! how do you change it, lots of work, but hope it does! otherwise, women will have to face a lot of problems with themselves and others too

    sorry for the long comment puja… had to rant!

    • Thanks for the comment!
      And I am sure it hurts bad when you put in your entire energy into home and get no acknowledgment in return. To make things worse, most men (and women) believe that expecting any kind of appreciation is like defying the laws of selfless love! Homemakers are expected to be sacrifice makers, whether they work in an office or not.Sad.. but it still is like that..

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